Wheel of Life Full Moon Meditation
December 19th 2021
12 noon, local time
Sun in Sagittarius, Fire, The Teacher/Seer;
Moon in Gemini, Air, The Innovator/Communicator.
The Hogs Back along the Pilgrims Way, North Downs. By http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:SuzanneKn - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:North_downs_way_seen_from_puttenham.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4734432
By Chris Gunns, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13010014
Sites visited along the Pilgrims Way to Canterbury 1993? – North Downs pilgrimage of four Gatekeepers with Graham Hays,
MEDITATION THEME: THE SUN LINE QUESTING AND BEING A MODERN ‘NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS and WATERS OF LIFE’:
The Sun quest: how can I manifest my heart’s vision (Sagittarius: the ‘seer’)? The Moon responds: by creating an intuitive dialogue between the polarities (Gemini: the ‘innovator’).
‘The Long Man of Wilmington’, East Sussex scarp. [By Cupcakekid at English Wikipedia, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3937658].
Does this figure represent the Sagittarian intuition which balances the polarities through inspired dialogue?
We can recreate this dialogue in the Sagittarian landscapes of the North and South pilgrims’ ways with a new view.
The geology of the two downs. [By Horace Bolingbroke Woodward Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3132281] They are linked at Winchester by the Punchbowl and Temple Valley.
My life’s quest manifested as my ‘inner spiritual guide’ and soul incarnational impulse. I discovered the Downs while living with my family home in Winchester in the 1980’s and first pilgrimaged both the North and South pilgrim ways as I was discovering the Gatekeeper Trust. I held a long view of transformation since my dedicated two years at the Findhorn Community in the 1970’s. I feel now I was embodying the Sagittarian impulse of devotional travel, having been brought up in Africa and Hampshire, and my first pilgrimage was to Iona. This sign asks us where we are going, and what is our spiritual aim as we walk sacred paths and sanctuaries sites along the way, the path brings, draws even more inspiration from the past into the future.
I believe my soul chose this landscape for my deeper purpose of transformation, and it includes a large part of the North Downs Pilgrims Way, Guildford being connected to Winchester by St Swithun’s Way to Farnham. I worked and lived on this pilgrim path and travelled regularly from Winchester into Alresford in the 1980’s. At the start of this pilgrims' way is St Catherine’s Hill, and Telegraph Hill: the view transmits wonderful uplifting views and energies of the Hampshire bowl as it forms the start of the South Downs ‘Hampshire Highway’.
The natural amphitheatre on Cheesefoot Hill (also known as Matterley Bowl) was used by General Eisenhower to address US troops prior to The WW2 D-Day Landings & various boxing matches (including a Joe Louis bout). More recently it has been a regular site for the appearance of crop circles. [Photo Peter Nicholson: email@example.com
Chesfoot Head is known as an English Bridget – ‘brigh = exhaulted one a goddess of fire’… address: S Downs Way, Temple Valley, Ovington SO21] (CY: My first single circle was in 1980’s)
The ancient Phoenician sun-line runs between North and South Downs. Did they bring into the British Isles their sun worship and solar navigation lines?
THE MELKART LINE
This sun line was identified by Yuri Leitch as the Melkart Line. It starts at Hartland Point’s ‘Promontory of Hercules’ (another name for the Phoenician sun god Melkart), which crosses the cusp of the signs Aquarius/Capricorn and joins the North Downs in Sagittarius at Winchester via St Swithun. On its journey it aligns with the Sagittarius figure in the Bull's Eye of Taurus in the Glastonbury Zodiac.
Screenshot by permission of Uri Leitch’s Melkart Line https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6bJR6yWs10
Did the Phoenicians also introduce the ‘St Michael Line’, as Cornwall was one of their
tin trading destinations, and their navigation tools around the British Isles would have also related to the religious symbols on coins brought from their mother lands?
This is also where King Alfred honoured the ancestors of the land on his journey to kingship, following the Michael and Mary Line. The ancient art of orientation and navigation stems from the Phoenician tin traders and skilful sailors of the East. These seafarers brought sun gods into Prydein, land of the ‘Bri-hats’ (Britons), looking much like our Christian saints on the coinage See L. A. Waddell’s interpretations and images below [‘The Phoenician Origins of the British, Scots and Anglo-Saxons’ by L. A. Waddell - https://archive.org/details/ThePhoenicianOriginOfBritonsScotsAnglo-saxons1924-1st.Edition].
Sun Horse on early British Coins – became engraved on our ‘White Horse’ Hills.
The Sun horse of the Phoenician sun god Mikal (Michael) looks
Like an early Sagittarian symbol and the eight spoke ‘star’ of an early compass ‘rose’ or stary navigation tool, or ‘Wheel of Life’.
Phoenician coins showing ‘Barati’ or ‘Britannia’, who came over from Lycania, the sun goddess of the tin traders..
Early Roman coins of Britain derived from Phoenician ‘Barati/Britainnia’ cult – landing an invasion at the ‘gateway’ of Thanet and Sheppey Islands.
The arrow is another symbol for Sagittarius, seer, traveller/sailor bringing spiritual wisdom and acting as teacher/guide to those living in the lands they visited.
The Egyptian ‘Mother of the Waters’ perhaps origin of ‘Britannia’ who rules the British ‘Tin Isles’ surrounded by the oceans and necessitating good seafaring navigation skills: the Phoenicians are recorded as visiting Cornwall’s Iscia Island (St Michael’s Mount and Roseland, Falmouth the ‘safe haven’ for loading tin in their ships).
Early British coins; The ‘sun horse’ part of the sun worship, and origins of the
’white horse’ hills in Wiltshire? Certainly, the sun lines of Melkart and St Michael seem to have been rooted in the idea of navigation and travel embodied in the horse and ‘sun-wheel’.
St Andrew (Indara) holding ‘Thor’s Hammer’ on a British Monument.
Sun-god ‘Indara’ (St Andrew) slaying the dragon, he has the saltire cross over his head and the dragon a ‘sun wheel’ orientation image for the ‘wheel’ of the heavens and landscape ‘star’ map of the zodiac. Can the Hitto-Phoenician culture be the origins of our star maps and terrestrial zodiacs?
Archangel Mikalu (Michael) as the ‘corn spirit’ with sun goose/swan/fire-bird before an altar at the time of ripening corn (Michaelmas, or Autumn Equinox). Could these be the roots of further mythologies and ‘star maps’ of Cygnus in Britain, and the mythology of the ‘goose that laid the golden egg’?
Archangel St Michael (MKLU, Mikal) on early British coins with the sun, and the archangel depicted as the phoenix/sea-hawk (symbol of ascension) and winged seahorse - symbol of aspiration/travel/seer-ship vision and transformation?
THE NORTH AND SOUTH DOWNS
‘Running from Farnham to Canterbury and the White Cliffs of Dover, the Trail passes through two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs, and along the famous Pilgrims Way (or Pilgrim’s Way) from Winchester to Canterbury – one of England’s most famous cities.’
The Pilgrims’ Way is still energised by travelling pilgrims who will be seeking their ‘inner eye’ of vision and passion of purpose, both Sagittarian qualities.
This magnetised route covers many areas of outstanding natural beauty, and forms a ‘heart-veil’ south of the Heart Chakra (London) of the Grail Landscape of Britain and France. See the ‘Rose Centres of London’ in the Scorpio Full Moon Article [https://gatekeeper.org.uk/events/full-moon-meditation-scorpio/ ]. It links with the South Downs through St Swithun’s Way from Winchester, and extending into the South West linking Stonehenge, and King Alfred’s Wessex:
‘…on the Pilgrim’s Way: the ancient pilgrimage route hemming the line of the North Downs through Kent and West Sussex, a long, wavering ribbon of battered tarmac and chalky track that stretches out between the great Cathedral cities of Canterbury and Winchester; and beyond, from Dover to Stonehenge.’ … The Celts used it, the Romans used it, the Saxons used it’. [https://discover.hubpages.com/travel/Along-The-Pilgrims-Way]
My own research around1984 uncovered the historical sacrifice of St Thomas a Becket in Canterbury was probably linked ritualistically to that death of William
Rufus. Both of these figures seemed to know their death was required of tradition, they were familiar with those who held the weapons. Like King Alfred who travelled through the Wiltshire/Dorset/Somerset landscape before being crowned, visiting holy sites were for sovereigns to owe their allegiance to the people and the land. In this landscape ritually significant in defining the sovereignty of British identity, I travelled with a group of Gatekeeper pilgrims, along from Winchester where Rufus the Red (on of William the Conqueror) was buried in front of the high altar) to Canterbury where Thomas a Becket was killed by four knights, four strikes on his crown, and falling towards pillar in the ritual direction of the north, in the crypt.
Hugh Ross Williamson in his book ‘The Arrow and the Sword’ 1947, explores the religious philosophies involved, where pagan and Christian ethos of the country folk and the kings’ sovereign rights to rule had clashed. Rufus was a pagan, and his killing was a ritual sacrifice to satisfy the collective need for affirmation and direction. So also was Thomas, the friend of the king whose role in times of duress involved the ‘sacrifice of the king’. Thomas appears to have taken the king’s place. All this drama occurred in ritualized landscape along the pilgrim routes of the South Downs. The question Williamson raises is did these two sacrifices, which appeared deliberate and voluntarily chosen, reveal a pagan age-old ‘land sovereignty’ principle? The kings assumed sovereignty by adopting the culture and the land on which it flourished as their liege, to serve, honour and redeem their lives and sins.
‘The route from Winchester to Canterbury follows the line of the St Swithuns’ Way from Winchester up to Farnham …. At Farnham it joins the North Downs’ Way and heads East. Sometimes the North Downs’ Way runs along the line of the Pilgrims’ Way and sometimes it is higher up the escarpment. It is, however, much better signposted. Today I had a choice whether to stick mostly to the higher signposted North Downs’ Way or the latter, not well-signposted (so far as I could see) older track of the Pilgrims’ Way.’ [https://jackiemcall.co.uk/2016/09/19/walking-pilgrims-way-day-8-godstone-otford/]
The Hoggs Back [http://simonswalks.blogspot.com/2012/07/guildford-to-compton.html
© Simon Port 2012]
Travelling from Farnham to Guildford, pilgrims are at the height of expectation: for St Catherine’s Chapel and St Martha’s Church on Box Hill, Guildford, signal the holy path of sacrifice through beautiful countryside and ancient sanctuaries.
Our group shared a car and stayed in pilgrim hostels along the way. In 1984 our vision of ‘healing ourselves, healing the land’ seemed a new and fragile vision. Travelling in this way, it seemed to strengthen our lives’ spiritual purpose, until arriving at Canterbury we were drawn into a ‘high church’ communion in candle-light, with incense and chanting. This formed the height of our energetic focus, a source of wonder as we watched a procession of choir, priest and cross bearers moving slowly in the gloom. Definitely a passage through an ‘altered state of consciousness’ from pilgrim innocence to a new determined goal: to pilgrimage along the South Downs Way.
St Catherine’s Chapel – in 2016 we lit lanterns connecting with a light network down to St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall. [© Copyright P L Chadwick Creative Commons Licence]
‘The Artington spring still bubbles away at the foot of St. Catherine’s. Access to the Wey is via the steep and narrow Ferry Lane, which leads past the hill-top chapel and back up to the Pilgrims’ Way (the modern North Downs Way). … St Catherine’s Hill overlooks the Artington springs whose waters were believed to have healing properties, particularly for eye complaints, a common attribute of ‘holy wells’. The art in Artington is probably a reference to artemisia or ‘magic art’ since the drug is a powerful hallucinogenic.’
‘St. Catherine’s Hill was formerly called Drake Hill, i.e. Dragon Hill, and according to legend a dragon guarded the springs. All this is a latter-day recasting of a Megalithic site, the dragon being one of the standard symbols of hermetic activity.’ http://themegalithicempire.com/walks/walks/?p=323
St Martha’s Church, Box Hill, Guildford.
[© Copyright Jim Osley Creative Commons Licence]
After a long climb through yew woodland, the church looms as a magical heirloom to the old pagan practice of planting guardian yews in churchyards that symbolises longevity and resurrection.
Kits Coty House, Aylesbord, the remains of two Megalithic long barrows – [By Simon Burchell - https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64864196]
Coldrum Stones – Coldrum = ‘the place of enchantment’
THE SOUTH DOWNS
‘Silver Wheel’ Pilgrimage in 2020 [https://gatekeeper.org.uk/2020/06/silver-wheel-pilgrimage] followed another ancient pilgrim path to Eastbourne (is this at the cusp with Scorpio at the start of the Milky Way through the British Zodiac, south-eastern end of the AA line (see Peter Dawkins https://www.fbrt.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/The_British_Landscape_Zodiac.pdf). This path links sun line to the larger ‘saltire cross’ of sovereign roads established by the Celts, described in the myth of Brain the Blessed, and rebuilt by the Romans.
SOUTH DOWNS: Source of the Meon River, in the Valley below Old Winchester Hill (centre image) from the Hampshire River source pilgrimages
‘Healing the Springs’ with Patrick McMannaway 2019.
In 2020 St Catherine’s Hill, Winchester, following the pilgrim path to Old Winchester Hill - through Telegraph Hill, Devil's Punchbowl and Temple Valley, Wheely (meaning ‘sanctuary’) Down, Beacon Hill, and finally Corhampton honouring the source of the River Meon below Old Winchester Hill. King Alfred’s sun-dial on Corhampton church told the time of the eight sacred seasons of the sun’s cycle of fertility, putting his philosophy into the context of a resurrecting ‘sun god’. His burning of the cakes would also have been part of his sacred role, establishing the new kingdom of Wessex having ritualistically ‘dissolved’ the old in the Samhain fires.
Celebrating the conjunction: sunset and moonrise, of the 2020 solstice.
[Photos by Angela Shaw and Charlotte Yonge] – little did we know that we were on the verge of an extraordinary global transition. Maybe it is a good time to consolidate our ‘golden thread’ with our ancestors.
ST SWITHUNS WAY – a golden path of devotion linking the two downs:
This ancient path to the North Downs Way links to the South Downs through the ‘wheels’ of St Catherine’s Hill and the Devils Punchbowl/Temple Valley, overlooked by Telegraph Hill. This pilgrimage junction honours Winchester’s patron saint. Pilgrims travel through Cheriton and the source of the River Itchen, to Alresford. It finally leads to Alton and Farnham where it joins the start of the North Downs Pilgrim Way. These two paths link to Canterbury and the two ‘gateway’ islands Thanet and Sheppey, through which Roman and Punic invaders entered the land.
SHEPPY, THANET and CANTERBURY AT THE END OF THE MELKART LINE
Recently a healing well on the Isle of Sheppey at Minster, its early spiritual significance symbolised by a triple headed goddess statuette within a stone vesica, which was uncovered and a modern story of fertility healing is told by an archaeologist on the land of Leon Stanford. [‘The Three-headed Goddess and the miracle wells’ http://themiraclespage.info/waters/heilquelle-gb.htm]. Was this one of the pilgrim destinations of the two Downs, leading to Canterbury and its landscape ‘wheel’?
Linking sun lines, this ‘Gateway’ landscape as a symbol of both Pre-Roman Punic and Roman invasions. The name Thanet, which is very similar to the goddess of the Phoenicians ‘Tanit’. One study shows that Phoenician tin traders and navigators used seaside caves worshiping Tanit, their sea goddess, asking her for protection of their ships from the high seas, while other Mediterranean cultures feared the wide oceans.
THE SPEAR AND THE WHEEL LINKING OUR SACRED LANDSCAPES:
The next article for Capricorn explores the Western end of our sun-line, landscape ‘wheel’ of Wiltshire. We will link Winchester both with the Melkart Line and with the Celtic centre at Oxford, its henges, and its connections to Anglsea and St Albans.
Did ‘Britannia’ with her spear and wheel, emerge from the Egyptian ‘Goddess of the Waters’ and were these islands considered sacred for being surrounded and protected by the oceans that only the bravest of navigators could reach?
Charlotte Yonge, 2021